Hope you are enjoying beautiful Jain Digest and innovative JAINA Calendar 2017. If you have not received JAINA Calendar, please contact Maheshbhai Wadher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JAINA has extended the registration rate of $ 269 for Adult and $ 169 for Youth for JAINA Convention 2017 until January 31, 2017. More than 2,200 attendees have registered to-date. Please visit www.jaina.org to register.
Thanks to Ms Monica Desai and Nandini Jhaveri Nathani for their generous contributions to JAINA General Fund. It is the contributions of such noble souls which has led JAINA to new heights.
Chairman - JAINA BOD
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
One who meditates on the soul, attains the supreme samadhi.
- Bhagwan Mahavir(Niyamasara)
KNOW YOUR TIRTHANKAR
People understand meditation only as a healing process or therapy to control and cure physical and mental problems like stress but meditation is not just stress therapy while it does provide emotional balance, strengthens the immune system, slowers the aging process and controls high blood pressure. Its prime utility is as a tool for developing spirituality. Meditation has a specific purpose which is to know and to experience the existence of self. Until you understand your own self, problems are hard to solve. Health issues are not just related to the atmosphere, weather or germs. Health is also related to yourself. A negative perspective also leads to ill health and is the cause of much misery. Once you know the truth the pain goes. To know your self is to uproot pain. Imagine you want a tree to grow and flourish. What do you need to do? You need to take care of the roots and water them. If you water the flowers and the leaves the tree will never grow. Conversely if you don’t want the tree to grow cutting its branches will not help. You will have to uproot it. Similarly everything that constitutes are existence is in the root of being. Normally we think only of the external world has having any effect on your lives. We do not think of the inner word. We like to be on the top floor of the building, not at its foundation, yet until we step on the foundation we cannot reach the destination.
The root of pain and problem is, infect, the inner world. The death and disease is not painful in themselves, it is the impure inner consciousness that makes us sensitive to pain and makes us fear it. If you know this truth that pain and pleasure are the simply products of the mind you will never be unhappy. It is the emotion of attachment and hatred that makes you happy or unhappy that is why a situation, object or incident is not the primary cost of misery. An object might be a secondary cause but the root cause is not your own emotions or consciousness. The way we react to situation is important for instance we hear a lot of death around the world but we are not affected by all of them. Only the person who has died is known to you, you feel sad. Until we change our perspective we cannot be happy and until we explore our self we cannot uproot pain. The true aim of Meditation is to know the knower, the perceiver and to know the self.
Jain Academic Bowl (JAB) 2017 Competition
"The greatest part about JAB is that it's far more than a competition - it establishes such a strong base understanding of Jain ideologies so you can later delve deeper to see the world through the eyes of a Sadhu - or even a Tirthankar." - Chintav Shah
Jain Academic Bowl (JAB) is a team competition for young Jains held biennially at the JAINA conventions. This competition tests the overall knowledge of Jain philosophy, Jain history, sutras, Tirthankars, revered Jain personalities, the Jain Way of Life, and more, as well as the ability of participants to answer quickly. This competition is in a "jeopardy" type of format. Participant teams "buzz in" to answer questions.
JAB is a great experience for all participants. It helps increase their knowledge of Jainism, provides opportunity to forge new friendships with Pathshala students nationwide, and much more. In the end, every participant is a winner because of the immense knowledge they acquire and the fun they have being a participant in this team competition.
The tournament is divided into two (2) groups: Juniors and Seniors
Group 1 (Junior) will have participants of ages 14 and under.
Group 2 (Senior) will have participants of age 21 and under.
JAB program is fully operational for both JAINA and YJA conventions. The last 2015 JAINA convention,17 teams (100 youth) participated in the JAB program. For 2017 JAB competition 19 teams (130 youths) registered. Every year we enhance JAB manual by adding more topics in the manual.
Each Junior and Senior team requires to register separately. JAB Registration Form needs to be filled electronically (one per team) is due ON OR BEFORE January 31, 2017.
JAINA Convention 2017 registration is required to
participate in Jain Academic Bowl (JAB) Competition.
MY VISIT TO AN ANIMAL SANCTUARY – By Dilip V. Shah, Philadelphia
During last Paryushan at our Jain center, we had a guest speaker Shaleen Shah who talked about an Animal Sanctuary in Colorado that he and his wife Shilpi had created. As the only such Sanctuary operated by jains outside of India, I was interested in learning more. He smiled and told me that “Seeing is Believing” – just come down to hear, smell, touch and feel the animals. You can stay with us and we will gladly show you everything. I made up my mind and booked a flight to Denver. Sure enough, Shaleen and his two little boys picked me up as I arrived Denver airport early on a Friday evening in mid- December. His home and the sanctuary were about 30 miles from the airport. Shilpi greeted me in her home and warm dinner was quickly served. The delicious meal was vegan.
Once the kids were put to bed, conversations about the sanctuary began. Both Shaleen and Shilpi (Shahs) were born in India but grew up in Florida when their parents immigrated to America. They married and in 2011, they were eagerly looking forward to the birth of their first child. – A baby boy they lovingly named Aarav. But then the life threw a curve; the newborn baby was not able to tolerate mother’s milk. His face had rashes and was crying excessively. Their pediatrician diagnosed the child as “Lactose Intolerant” and advised Shilpi to stop consuming any dairy products at least for the next six months. Shilpi promptly complied with Doctor’s order. She gave up milk, butter, yogurt or ghee and the baby got well soon.
JAIN STORY: FROM ROBBERY TO KEVALGYAN
In a town, there lived a gentleman with his lovely wife. Many nights he would not feel sleepy. He used that time to perform Samayik (sitting calmly in meditation or reading spiritual books, etc.). One night four robbers came to his town. While deciding where to rob they came near his house. They felt that his house was quiet and decided to rob here. The robbers entered his house. Actually at that time the owner was sitting in Samayik. He heard some noise and he realized that robbers are in the house. He did not scream but told to himself, "No one can take what is mine, I have right faith, right knowledge, and right conduct. Therefore, I should not be upset at the robbers and I must not disturb my samayik."
He further thought, "I am in samayik and no worldly thing should bother me. What did I bring with me when I was born? And what would go with me when I die? I came alone and I will leave this world empty-handed. Let there be trust in the path shown by Jina. It will give me the strength to complete this samayik in a peaceful frame of mind." Meanwhile, one of the robber threw a bundle of goods out of the window. The gentleman uttered, "Namo Arihantanam." When the robbers heard that, they were startled that instead screaming they heard "Namo Arihantanam". "Namo Arihantanam" also reminded them as if they have heard before. They started reflecting on these words and within a few minutes they attained Jati-smaran-jnan (knowledge of previous life). They discovered that they were also Jains like him and performed samayik but not like him. They praised his detachment for worldly things and repented on their current activities. They reflected on the purity of Samayik very sincerely and they burned up their four ghati (major) karmas and all four attained Kevaljnan.
When the gentleman finished his Samayik he saw the four Kevalis seated on golden lotuses. He bow down to them with admiration.
If we repent our mistakes and sins we can also get into a pure mental condition. Religious rituals are worthwhile, but if we do not observe them properly with pure heart and mind then they are meaningless. One, who repents his sins and decides not to repeat them would be born either in heaven or may even be liberated in same life.
2017 YJP EXECUTIVE BOARD
YJP is excited for another wonderful year of professional networking, spiritual development and community service
Please join us in congratulating YJP team and wishing them success in their leadership role!
YJA is gearing up to host Regional Retreats so save the dates! Know any young Jains between the ages of 14 and 29? Encourage them to attend! Visit yja.org to register for the Mid-Atlantic and Mid-West Regional Retreats today. #YJARetreats2017
With your help, we were able to collect over 4,000 articles of clothing for YJA's first Interregional Clothing Drive! Congrats to the South region for having the most donations and winning the competition! #YJAGivesBack
ANUMODNA TO DONORS
JAINA acknowledges the valuable contributions of the following Sadharmiks to JAINA General Fund.
1. Monica Desai ($8,000)
2. Nandini Jhaveri Nathani ($2,500)
3. Susheel Jain ($151)
4. Rohit Shah ($101)
5. Madhvi Doshi ($101)
6. Leena Shah ($101)
7. Hemal Modi ($101)
JAINA is the largest Jain organization outside India and is consistently working towards mission of spreading Jain Principles to next generation and to larger Community in North America. JAINA is a well recognized organization globally. It obviously takes strong financial resources to carry out myriad activities of JAINA.
Alternatively, please write check in name of “JAINA” and mail to:
Mr. Haresh Shah
Chairman - JAINA Membership Committee
2302 Clearview Ave.
Wilmington, DE 19810-2525, USA